WEDNESDAY, Oct. 5, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Male doctors receive significantly higher payouts from the medical industry’s top-grossing companies than female doctors, according to a study published online Sept. 28. JAMA Surgery.

Brittany G. Sullivan, MD, of the University of California, Irvine, and her colleagues examined payments made by the medical industry’s top-grossing companies to female and male physicians and assessed compensation and engagement differences by gender. The analysis included data from the Open Payments database for the five female and five male physicians who received the highest financial compensation from each of the 15 highest-grossing US medical supply companies (January 2013 to January 2019; 1,050 payments ).

The researchers found that 96.9 percent of the top five earners are men and only 3.1 percent are women. Median payouts for female physicians were $41,320, compared to $1.23 million for male physicians. Across all medical specialties, including female-dominated specialties, and academic ranks, this disparity persisted. Male gender was significantly associated with higher pay when adjusted for rank, h-index, and specialty. The pay gap between female and male physicians widened from $54,343 in 2013 to $166,778 in 2019.

“Future research is needed to clarify why the gender pay gap in the medical industry continues to widen despite national recognition and more women in medicine,” the authors write.

Two authors have disclosed financial ties to the medical industry.

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